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FMD Dairy Field Day

Chris Brunner

October 14, 2016


Photo by Emily Kunz – WIFSS

The Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at UC Davis and the California Department of Food and Agriculture partnered together on October 4 for a dairy demo day at the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center in Tulare, California. Attendees came from universities, the dairy industry, and state and federal governments in California and throughout the US.

An FMD outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001 resulted in the loss of 10 million animals at the cost of 13 billion dollars. FMD outbreaks have continued to occur in previously FMD-free countries, including Korea and Japan in 2010, and Egypt in 2012.

The day started with presentations updating participants on the USDA and State Department of Agriculture’s FMD response plans, including technologies that weren’t available to the United Kingdom in 2001, such as real-time dairy herd testing for the virus and even emergency vaccination.

The morning continued with a table-top emergency planning exercise. Through the use of satellite images and UAV aerial drone footage, participants were briefed on a real local dairy. Attendees broke into small groups and created emergency biosecurity plans which would protect the dairy during a real outbreak. The day concluded with a visit to the actual dairy they had studied, to visualize how protective measures could actually be put in place in a matter of hours.

Dr. Michael Payne from WIFSS, who moderated the workshop, applauded the diverse group of attendees. “During the table-top and then the field exercises, we saw participants from state and federal government and industry working together, coming up with solutions.”  Payne said, “It’s exactly the sort of collaboration we would need to successfully respond to a real FMD incident.”

The event was sponsored by USDA-APHIS and the California Dairy Research Foundation, and hosted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, WIFSS, the California Dairy Quality Assurance Program, and Iowa State’s Center for Food Security and Public Health.

State and federal response agencies and the University of California continue to work with California’s livestock producers to protect its herds and flocks from disease threats from both inside and outside our boarders.